Ford Recalls F-150 Pickups for Sudden Shifting into Neutral

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is recalling 47,084 model year 2021 F-150 vehicles for shifting into neutral without warning. Affected vehicles are equipped with 3.5L GTDI, 2.7L and 5.0L engines, 10R80 transmissions and not equipped with Auto Start-Stop technology built between July 28, 2021 and December 20, 202. The safety defect is because a “transmission diagnostic logic inadvertently activated.” (Read AutoInformed on Billion Dollar Oops – Ford F-150s, Edges Without Electronics; Ford Motor Recalls 160,000 F-150 Pickups for Bad Wipers)

Ford has also stopped delivery and demonstration of the F-150 pickups.* The Transmission Fluid Pressure Low Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) may falsely activate and cause the transmission to shift into a neutral. This can occur at any speed. If a false activation occurs, the vehicle will coast to a stop as if it is in Neutral, and the electronic shifter will attempt to engage Park below speeds of 2 mph/3 kph. Once the vehicle comes to a complete stop, the electronic shifter will automatically shift into Park. Ford is not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this condition.

Dealers will update the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software, free of charge as required by law. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 2, 2022. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 22S15. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov.

Chronology February – March 2022.

On February 4th, Ford’s Driveline Engineering team brought an issue to Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) regarding loss-of-mobility reports on certain 2021MY F150 vehicles. Specifically, Ford identified an increase in Transmission Fluid Pressure Low Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0868 codes being set on specific 2021MY F150 vehicles equipped with 3.5L GTDI, 2.7L and 5.0L engines and the 10R80 transmission. When this code is set, the vehicle transmission will enter a neutral state.

Engineering investigation found that one of the powertrain diagnostic logic software branches was turned on in error when these vehicles were produced. Under certain conditions, this diagnostic logic could inadvertently activate the Pump-Gear-Failure-Detection logic even though the hardware is functioning properly. When this occurs, the transmission on-board-diagnostics will set the DTC P0868, turn on a Wrench Light telltale, and the vehicle’s transmission will shift into a neutral state. As the vehicle slows to a speed below 2 mph/3kph, the electronic shifter will attempt to engage the Park function and will automatically shift into Park when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Transmission function can be immediately restored upon a key-off/key-on cycle.

CCRG analyzed the field data and trends. Between October 22, 2021 and February 9, 2022 there have been 28 warranty claims and one Customer Contact Center report to Ford potentially related to this concern. CCRG also reviewed the one (1) Vehicle Owner questionnaire (“VOQ”) report received by NHTSA concerning this issue.

March 18, 2022. Ford’s Field Review Committee approved a field action.

*New Vehicle Demonstration / Delivery Hold – Safety Recall 22S15. Before demonstrating or delivering any new in-stock vehicles involved in this recall, dealers are to update the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software using FDRS. IDS cannot be used to complete this repair. This service must be performed on all affected vehicles at no charge to the vehicle owner. Owner letters are expected to be mailed the week of April 11, 2022. Dealers should repair any affected vehicles that arrive at their dealerships, whether or not the customer has received a letter. Note: Owners will be notified that transmission function may be restored upon a key-off/key-on cycle. Federal law requires dealers to complete this recall service before a new vehicle is delivered to the buyer or lessee. Violation of this requirement by a dealer could result in a civil penalty of up to $21,000 per vehicle. Correct all vehicles in your new vehicle inventory before delivery.

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